Monday, June 1, 2015

I Guarantee You are Going to Like This

George Zimmer is launching a start-up. NYT reports:
Though he was ousted from Men’s Wearhouse, George Zimmer still wants you to “like the way you look” — only this time with an app.

Once the gravelly voiced, graybeard face of the retail chain he founded, Mr. Zimmer has been refashioning himself as a technology entrepreneur. On Monday, he will unveil his new company, zTailors, a website and app that connects customers and their frumpy wardrobes with on-demand tailors who are ready to make house calls.

“It’s Uber for tailors,” Mr. Zimmer, 66, said in an interview.

Backing the nascent company with his own money, Mr. Zimmer says he believes that zTailors — yes, the “z” is for Zimmer — has the potential to transform millions of ill-fitting garments into like-new items.

Its app and website allow customers to schedule a tailor to come to their homes or offices, where they will measure and refit suits, shirts, jackets and dresses for a set price. The altered items are then returned in a few days...

“In the closets of Americans, there is billions of dollars’ worth of apparel that has accumulated over the years,” he said. “It doesn’t all appear on the good side of the closet. It doesn’t all fit. That’s either because it has shrunk, or you have grown.”

No obvious rival is currently on the market. A company called Combat Gent introduced a similar concept called Haberdash last year. But Haberdash failed to gain traction and was shut down.

And Uber itself teamed up with a tailor in Singapore for a special offer, bringing a reputable tailor to customers’ homes.

Mr. Zimmer, whose net worth has been estimated to be $150 million to $800 million, is the chairman and the financial force behind zTailors. Other people and wealthy families have contributed money to the start-up, he says, but no venture capitalists are involved, despite the Oakland, Calif., company’s proximity to Silicon Valley.

In recent months, zTailors has been in stealth mode, operating in several major cities around the country, and it already has 600 tailors signed up. The plan is to be operating in all 50 states by the end of the year, with more than 1,000 tailors.

1 comment:

  1. I always loved the simplicity & direct nature of Men's Wearhouse commercials. His back story is interesting too with his recent removal from the board of the company he created.

    It's reminds me of Steve Jobs and the "Next" era- I wonder if we'll see a triumphant return to his own company down the road.